56. Corcyra

{109}
I SAT beneath an olive's branches grey,
   And gazed upon the sight of a lost town,
   By sage and poet raised to long renown;
Where dwelt a race that on the sea held sway,
And, restless as its waters, forced a way
   For civil strife a hundred states to drown.
   That multitudinous stream we now note down
As though one life, in birth and in decay.
But is their being's history spent and run,
Whose spirits live in awful singleness,
Each in its self-form'd sphere of light or gloom?
Henceforth, while pondering the fierce deeds then
        done,
Such reverence on me shall its seal impress
As though I corpses saw, and walk'd the tomb.

At Sea
.
January 7, 1833.

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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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